Lane Kiffin, Ed Orgeron Commit Potential Violations Just Hours After Hiring

Dan ScofieldAnalyst IJanuary 14, 2010

The first words out of Lane Kiffin as the newest head coach at USC were about his committment to "running a clean, disciplined program".

Fifteen minutes under his new title, Kiffin had told his first lie.

"I've told Mike Hamilton (Tennesse's Athletic Directior) I will not recruit the players that go there unless they call me," the younger Kiffin said in response to press questions.

All yesterday, rumors were swirling that staff members now at USC were calling current verbally committed Volunteer recruits, as well as those nine who had intended to enroll early and attend classes Wednesday morning.

When Kiffin was asked by T.J. Simers of the LA Times about the accuracy of these reports, the Trojan head coach responded hesitantly, calling the accusations "inaccurate".

The odd thing about Kiffin's response?

After being drilled on the topic by Simers, he revealed to the press that he had not spoken to the members of his current staff considering he had been in the air, flying into Los Angeles from Knoxville.

In other words, Kiffin had no sense of whether these reports were either accurate or inaccurate at that point in time.

Those same "inaccurate" reports were later deemed true through a few phone calls to recruits homes, including Brandon Willis and Tyler Bray.

Although Kiffin may not have been in contact with any recruits himself, his recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron was on the phone for most of the evening, mass "advice" to many members of the current Volunteer class.

In fact, according to Bray's father, Jeff, Orgeron had called a group of Tennessee recruits who happened to be together after the news of Kiffin's departure. According to the report, Orgeron, over speakerphone, offered places in USC's recruiting class to all of the current recruits.

"Yes, I did call recruits to clear up any questions they had," Orgeron told the LA Times. "In my knowledge, I followed the rules correctly."

The problem here lies in the reports that Orgeron had contacted recruits who had enrolled early at the University of Tennessee. In fact, rumors are saying that the Trojan staff had asked these players not to attend class or else they would not be able to receive an immediate waiver from Tennessee.

If true, a violation has already been made by the newest Trojan coaching staff.

When the Times asked a NCAA spokesperson about the rule, they responded by saying a school cannot contact an early-enrolled student without the permission of that University's permission. Also, any student who wished to switch schools would have to sit out the minimal one transfer-rule year.

On the cusp of an important NCAA meeting in mid-February, USC was walking on already thin ice with NCAA sanctions likely on their way from the cases of Reggie Bush and Joe McKnight.

It also will not be overlooked that Kiffin was a key member of that USC staff when the alleged violations had occured.

With Kiffin at the helm of the Trojan Empire, the same guy who committed six secondary violations in his one year in Knoxville, the NCAA and USC will now have even more issues to work out.

The same spokesperson also informed the Times that the NCAA will work with both USC and Tennessee in investigating Orgeron's reported violating actions.

Although some questions were answered at last night's introductory press conference, Kiffin still has one looming: What exactly is his definition of "clean"?